Changes of venue for trials not the norm

URBANA — Have you read and heard a lot about the disappearance of Chinese scholar Yingying Zhang and the charges facing her accused kidnapper, Brendt Christensen?

Have you made up your mind — months ahead of Christensen's trial — that he's guilty?

Top of the Morning, Oct. 6, 2018

For the second consecutive October, firefighters in the Champaign County village of Sidney are selling T-shirts to raise money in the fight against cancer. "The goal," organizer Grant Bennett said, "is to raise enough money so one day we don't have to sell shirts."

Authorities: By and large, Luke Bryan concert went smoothly

PESOTUM — Besides some chilly weather and one arrest, authorities said last weekend's Luke Bryan concert went about as smoothly as could be expected.

"We did not have any roadway issues," said state Trooper Tracy Lillard. "It seemed like the flow of traffic was very steady. We didn't have any crashes, any backups."

Illinois' charity care statute was upheld, but are hospitals really the winner?

CHAMPAIGN — Since Illinois' controversial hospital tax-exemption law was upheld by the state Supreme Court on Thursday, the decision has been hailed as a big win for nonprofit hospitals.

Tom Kacich | Rauner could break GOP's 82-year streak here

It's been 82 years since a Democratic candidate for governor won in Champaign County.

It's been almost as long — 70 years — since a Democratic gubernatorial candidate even came close.

The Big 10: Triumph in Calgary, tragedy in Lockerbie

Where were you 30 years ago, when we said hello to 'The Wonder Years,' wait-till-next-year to fans of other Big Ten basketball teams, and welcome back to NASA's space shuttle program after a 2½-year break? That's the topic for this week's panelists, who shared with us a memory from 1988.

At many malls, anchors are going away

CHAMPAIGN — As a former Bergner's manager, Michael Ujcich saw firsthand some of the blunders that led to demise of the retailer and its parent company, Bon-Ton Stores.

Once a store with plentiful sales help, the Champaign Bergner's employed fewer people over the years, he recalled. The company was also late to offer an online shopping option.

VIDEO: Obama visits University of Illinois

Follow former president Barack Obama from the airport to the University of Illinois' Foellinger Auditorium to Caffe Paradiso to the UI president's mansion. 

Photos and video inside Foellinger Auditorium: Stephen Haas

Photos at Caffe Paradiso: Stephen Haas

Video inside president's mansion: Mary Schenk

Airport video: Ben Zigterman

Tom Kacich | Recent statewide polls not in GOP's favor

In politics, Labor Day weekend traditionally is the time to take stock of the electoral landscape and for candidates to begin the sprint to Election Day.

It's 65 days until Nov. 6, and just 25 days until early voting starts at the Champaign County Clerk's office (Sept. 27).

Tom Kacich | Benefit of incumbency on display in 15th race

Nothing shows the advantage of incumbency in Congress like the latest campaign disclosure reports for the candidates in Illinois' 15th Congressional District: veteran Republican lawmaker John Shimkus of Collinsville and Democratic challenger Kevin Gaither of Charleston.

And it's not just campaign contributions that account for the disparity, although that is impressive.